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Practising water safety


It's important for everyone to practice water safety
It's important for everyone to practice water safety

Staff writers

June 5, 2012 — The Canadian Red Cross is encouraging families to keep water safety in the forefront this summer.

Pets should be monitored when they're by the pool as well
Pets should be monitored when they're by the pool as well

With summer just around the corner, the Canadian Red Cross is reminding people to stay safe when they hit the pool.

According to a recent survey by Ipsos Reid, a staggering 46 percent of Canadian children don't know how to swim and 11 percent of Canadian families who own a pool say they are "doing nothing" to prevent children from accessing it unattended.

The water can be a dangerous place. According to the Red Cross, approximately 400 Canadians die each year from drowning -- and many of these accidents can be avoided by practising water safety.

Here are a few tips, courtesy of the Red Cross:

  • Use barriers. Four-sided fencing, along with a self-latching gate can help prevent unattended children - and pets - from entering a pool.
  • Secure inflatable pools. Portable or inflatable pools should be emptied - or locked and secured - after each use.
  • Clear your deck. This will help avoid injury.
  • If in doubt, don't dive. Statistics suggest that 95 percent of diving injuries occur in shallow water. Many home pools are unsafe for diving -- even those equipped with a diving board.
  • Don't drink and swim. Alcohol and water don't mix. According to the Red Cross, alcohol is linked to nearly half of all drowning deaths in Canada.
  • It's never too late to learn. Children - and parents - should have basic swimming and first aid training. These are life-long, invaluable skills that just may save a life.


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